Pierle, Chester Arthur (1883–1965)

By: H. Allen Anderson

Type: Biography

Published: May 1, 1995

Chester Arthur Pierle, chemistry professor, was born on February 2, 1883, in Martinsburg, Indiana. He attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he studied science and chemistry and received a bachelor's degree. He then earned his M.S. degree at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin in 1910. Pierle traveled to Peking, China, in 1911 and taught there for eleven years at Ising Hua College.

In 1922 he returned to the United States and accepted a teaching position at West Texas State Teachers College (now West Texas State University) in Canyon. Within three years, as chairman of the fledgling chemistry department, he had boosted the chemistry curriculum from one to four years and initiated a major in the field. He also established a master's degree program in 1931.

After his retirement from teaching in 1954, Pierle worked for the Continental Products Corporation in Canyon. He gained statewide notice for his chemical analysis and treatment of potable and industrial water in West Texas and for successfully removing the harmful bacteria that caused brown tooth stain, particularly in children.

He married a widow, Nelle Burton, who already had two children, and then had three daughters of his own. He was a Mason and a member of the First Christian Church in Canyon and of Sigma Xi, the honorary science fraternity. He died at Neblett Hospital in Canyon on March 23, 1965, and was buried in Dreamland Cemetery.

Canyon News, March 25, 1965.


  • Education
  • Educators
  • Sciences, Agriculture, and Engineering

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

H. Allen Anderson, “Pierle, Chester Arthur,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 27, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/pierle-chester-arthur.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995